Friday, December 3, 2010

Who Takes the Initiative?

Great stuff from Robert Wieland:

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Dear Mrs. ______________ :

You write that you got up early yesterday morning to spend some "quality time" with the Lord--prayer and Bible study so as to maintain your "relationship" with Him. But then you couldn't help noticing how disheveled the house was and how messy the kitchen, so you felt you had to straighten things up, and voila! the "quality time" was gone and the burdens of the day were upon you again. "So am I losing out with God?"

Let's "walk softly" here, like repentant Ahab. There are times when a wise doctor keeps a patient in a coma on intravenous feeding; but normally a healthy person eats because he's hungry, not because of stern cold duty. Your problem may not be that your 24-hour day is too short (that would be God's fault). Probably good sincere people have pounded into you a wrong idea of God (maybe even from the pulpit). God is not waiting for you to maintain a relationship with Him; He wants you to know He is maintaining a relationship with you. It all begins with His initiative, not yours. He wants you saved more than you want to be.

When Jesus came, He changed our ideas about His Father. The Good Shepherd is not waiting for His lost sheep to find Him; He is seeking the sheep (Luke 15:3-32). The text about "seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near" (Isa. 55:6) needs a clearer translation. The Hebrew verb there for "seek" is not the common one, looking for a lost object; it means "pay attention to Me because I am near! I'm not far away, ever!"

This idea of working hard to maintain our relationship with the Lord is a subtle Old Covenant idea that has crept in. When you begin to grasp His seeking love, His cross, you will "hunger and thirst" for His "truth of the gospel." It will expel your love for amusement; it will heal you of your Bible boredom. But we "walk softly": if you are in a spiritual coma, yes, force yourself to read your Bible and pray. But please ... believe the New Covenant.

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 25, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 by Robert J. Wieland.

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